Labs and Field Capacity

ATIC has 5 laboratories, hosts national and international atmospheric networks, and accesses several dedicated field sites: 


ARTeMiS Laboratory for Ecosystem Change (Leads: C. Hopkinson, L. Chasmer)

Funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Campus Alberta Innovates, the Advanced Resolution Terradynamics Monitoring System (ARTeMiS) Laboratory focuses on multi-dimensional quantification of the physical environment using field-based in-situ instrumentation in the context of physical geography and environmental science. The ARTeMiS Lab houses a suite of instrumentation including airborne lidar, terrestrial laser scanners [TLS], thermal imagers, ground penetrating radar (GPR), GPS survey equipment, weather stations and meteorological tower equipment.

Airborne Ecosystem Diagnostic Imaging System (AEDIS) Facility (Lead: C. Hopkinson)

The AEDIS Facility supports airborne remote sensing research with industry, academic and public sector partners across Canada. Funded via Western Economic Diversification Canada (WEDC) and hosting a state of the art Titan Multispectral topo-bathymetric lidar and high resolution camera system, AEDIS operates in parallel with the other ATIC Labs to advance our understanding of earth surface processes while developing new remote sensing environmental monitoring frameworks.

PEATland Ecology & Remote Sensing (PEATERS) Lab (Lead: L. Chasmer)

Building on funding from NSERC, the Oil Sands Monitoring Program, and in collaboration with Canada Wildfire, the PEATERS Lab specialises in the collection and analysis of ecological data to support airborne and satellite remote sensing in partnership with other ATIC labs. Here we bridge the gap between hydro-ecology and remote sensing by integrating field measurements with innovative geospatial solutions to quantify, model and map the cumulative effects of wildfire, climatic, and anthropogenic disturbances on Canada's sensitive and extensive northern peatlands. As the Lab P.I., Prof Chasmer’s PEATERS Lab integrates three subsidiary lab components that embrace a variety of essential variables she derives via remote sensing and validates in the field. The PEATERS-FIN group is focused on Fire Integration, PEATERS-BIN on Biomass and climate Integration, and PEATERS-ANTHRO on Anthropogenic disturbance. Each has distinct and overlapping team members, including Ph.D. and Masters students plus an array of national and international multi-sector partners.

Remote Sensing Laboratory (Leads: C. Coburn, D. Peddle)

The RSL involves spectroradiometric measurement and imaging for real-world applications using specialized lighting for the measurement of samples in a highly controlled environment. The RSL also hosts an array of laboratory and field-deployable sensors, experimental target systems, 3-D structural measurement devices, and other specialised field equipment. Hardware design, specification, implementation and support is also provided through RSL facilities.

The RSL is also home base for:

  • the University of Lethbridge Goniometer Systems for detailed multi-angular measurement (BRDF)
  • ULGS-2 is the most advanced field-goniometer system in the world
  • Several drone systems [a.k.a. remotely piloted aircraft systems – RPAS, UAV]

Calibration Spectrometry Laboratory (Lead: C. Coburn)

This highly-specialized facility is unique to Canada and enables detailed spectroradiometric instrument calibration. The CSL includes a dark calibration room, spectrometer room, goniometer room, and a field preparation room. The laboratory facility houses a wide array of spectroradiometric instrumentation for remote sensing research both in the laboratory and in support of field campaigns.


NASA AERONET Site (Lead: C. Coburn)

ATIC is a member and dedicated field site of the NASA Aerosol Robotic Network [AERONET]. ATIC maintains a building roof-mounted sun photometer system that measures atmospheric properties such as aerosol optical depth [AOD] and logs/reports these to AERONET HQ at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre [NASA GSFC] as one of an international set of network sites.

ATIC is also a member of the Canadian AEROCAN network of sites with similar responsibilities as AERONET.

ATIC Field Sites

  • West Castle Field Station - located in the front range of the Alberta Rocky Mountains, this field station is home to extensive ATIC research using lidar, hydrological, and meteorological equipment and infrastructure.
  • Agriculture – in collaboration with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lethbridge Research Station, crop-based and greenhouse-based studies are conducted at AAFC. Measurements are also acquired at ATIC labs.
  • ATIC deploys remote sensing and field equipment such as drones, goniometers, spectroradiometers, airborne camera systems and weather stations at a variety of other dedicated sites throughout southern Alberta and elsewhere in the world, with emphasis on agriculture, forests, northern ecosystems [e.g. NWT, northern AB], mountains, and wetlands.